Bahamas School FAQs

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What is included in the price?
Our pricing is designed to be as inclusive as possible.  Live aboard lessons, like our Instant Bareboater® and Advanced Classes included in the price is: the boat, accomadations aboard the boat during class, the instructor, all running costs of the boat, books, tests, study guides, taxes, on-board meals and snacks, nonalcoholic beverages and access to our Knot So Fast instructional video series.  Not included is: your travel to and from the boat, alcoholic beverages, off-boat meals, instructor's gratuity.  
How many students are in the class?
Typically 2-4 students are in the class.  Once in awhile we may run a class with only 1 student, but this is rare.  
What time do classes start?
Week-long classes begin at 4 PM.  Weekend and shorter classes begin at 10 AM.
What time do classes end?
Classes usually end mid-afternoon, about 2 PM.  However this can vary a bit based on weather, class size and a few other factors.
Do I need experience for the Bareboater® class?
You do not need prior experience for this class. The Bareboater® class is designed to begin with the basics, so no prior experience is necessary. We do recommend that you review the text and study guides prior to coming for your class. This helps set a foundation and teach vocabulary so that when you get to the boat you can concentrate on sailing.
I already know how to sail, is the Instant Bareboater® class still for me?
If you have sailing experience, you will have an advantage taking this class, however it can still be very useful. In addition to covering the techniques and procedures used to sail the boat, the Bareboater® class also covers procedures and systems used for living aboard, anchoring, cooking, bathing, and cruising. Many very experienced sailors have primarily day sailed and have spent limited time actually living on board (cooking, cleaning, etc.). In addition, most sailors typically spend little time anchoring overnight or establishing anchor watches – two topics covered in detail in this class. Finally, many safety procedures – reefing, hove-to, lying-a-hull, man overboard drills, etc. – are not drills that most sailors perform on a regular basis. Again, the Bareboater® class covers this in great detail, helping even experienced sailors with their boat handling.
What is the difference in the classes?
The Instant Cruiser® class is designed to teach inexperienced sailors how to sail. The primary focus of this class is on safety procedures and boat handling. The Bareboater® class is designed for everyone from beginners to experienced sailors who want to learn how to live aboard a boat. The majority of students in this class are preparing to bareboat charter, buy a boat, or are just checking to see how well they like the nautical life. In addition to boat handling, this course also includes instruction on boat systems (electrical, plumbing, cooking, engine, fuel, etc.), anchoring and more extensive safety procedures. The Advanced Sailing class adds the dimension of night time sailing to the curriculum. Finally, the Ocean Passage course provides the opportunity and learning that comes with being offshore and out of sight of land for an extended period.
Will the Instant Bareboater® certification qualify me to bareboat charter anywhere?
The certification you receive from Fair Wind is an ICSO Bareboat Charter certification that can be used around the world.  Please note however, virtually every charter company has their own rules regarding charter qualification. In addition to your certification status, other factors that are typically assessed include: previous boat ownership, overall sailing experience and experience gained between certification and charter.
Can I really do this?
Yes you can!! We have taught people from 9-70+ years of age how to sail and have courses designed for every need – from beginning sailors through cruisers to ocean voyages. Sailing is fun and once you know the basics, its pretty easy. If you want to do this, you can!
Will I have my own bed during the class?
A sailing "Bed" is called a berth and yes you will have your own berth. All of our instructional yachts have single and double berths. Single berths hold one person and double berths two. Couples may share a double berth.
Will I have my own bathroom during class?
Bathrooms aboard are called “heads”. Our boat in the Bahamas has 2 heads. Typically heads are shared on board.
What will be on board?
  • Hand towels
  • Bath towels
  • Wash clothes
  • Hand soap
  • Sanitizing lotion
  • Pillows
  • Sheets and blankets
  • Some limited snorkeling gear
  • All USCG safety equipment, including life preservers and other required sailing gear
What should I bring?
  • Sun protection – The Caribbean and Florida sun is strong year round making sun protection a must. Wide brimmed hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen are highly recommended
  • Sailing gloves (can be purchased in Red Hook if necessary)
  • Boat friendly shoes (white or light soles, no heels, comfortable)
  • Passport (Caribbean and Bahamas only) -- required for clearance in and out
  • Sailing text books
  • Snorkeling gear (optional, you can use ours if you like) Clothing – Expect daytime temperature in the 80’s and lows around 70. We usually sail in shorts and tee-shirts. Most people bring far too much clothing, we recommend the following clothing:
  • Shorts and tee shirts
  • A pair of jeans
  • Light long sleeve shirt (for sun protection)
  • Bathing suits (we will have time to swim & snorkel each day)
  • Beach towel (optional, for after swimming)
  • Light weight sweatshirt or sweater (can be chilly at night)
  • Light weight rain jacket (just in case)
  • Personal care items (shampoo, prescription medication, etc.)
  • All your questions – we are ready to answer all questions.
  • CD’s – Our boats are equipped with CD players
Please pack in a duffle, backpack or other collapsible bag (see below)
What should I leave home?
There is limited to no room for large, bulky luggage, so please do NOT bring:
  • Large suitcases
  • Hard shelled suitcases
  • Your worries
  • Dark or hard soled shoes
  • Too many clothes
Where is Fair Wind located and what is the name of the boat?
  • Fair Wind's Bahamas base is located at Treasure Cay Marina in Treasure Cay, Abaco
  • Our boat slips vary based on assignment by the marina. Please refer to your final confirmation for the slip number of your boa.t
  • Upon arrival in Treasure Cay, you may also contact our office at 248-563-5413 for any last minute questions
  • Our boat is a Morgan Outisland 40 named Dream Ketcher
How do I get to the marina from the airport?
The best way to get to the marina is taxi Cost of the ride should be about $15.. 
Are gratuities expected by Captains?
Of course gratuities are at your discretion, however, it is customary to tip your Captain 10% of your fee for a job well done. In cases of outstanding efforts, it is not unusual to see tips as high as 15-20%.
What should I do to get ready for the classes before I arrive?
Assure your passport is up to date. Study! Highly recommended to read the text.  Pay particular attention the rules of the road, boat systems, terminology and man over board procedures. 

Get ready to have fun!!!


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